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Old 04-05-2016
Flip Turn
Posts: n/a
Default Swim times for old dudes

Hello everyone. I just started swimming again four years ago after a 40 year layoff. I was one of the clunkers who swam the medley at the end of the meet...You know the one. hA HAAA... It's the event that goes on while everyone else is congratulating each other on the way to the locker room. I am 61 years old. Two years ago I taught myself how to butterfly by watching videos of Mike, Mark, Misty and other pros. on you tube. It took me two years to develop a nice rhythm. Two kicks per stroke...I can now sprint 25 yards in 20 seconds with one breath. For my age group is that time good bad or ugly? Just wondering. Thanx much.
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Old 04-07-2016
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647

It's hard to say what a good time is, since 25y is not a distance used in competitions for anyone but very young kids.

The record USMS time in your age group for 50y butterfly is 24.46 seconds. At a meet I was in earlier this year, 4 men in your age group swam 50y butterfly, and their times were:

31.69 seconds
34.01 seconds
39.35 seconds
62.30 seconds

So the pace at which you were swimming (if you could have maintained it for 50 yards) would have put you in the same ballpark as the 3rd place swimmer.

But why were you swimming it with only one breath?

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Old 04-09-2016
gary p gary p is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 119
gary p

First let me say congrats on your comeback to the sport, and for sticking with it for 4 years. I came back in my mid-40's after a 27 year layoff and know how hard that was. I can only imagine how much determination it must have taken at the beginning to stick with it.

I'd say if you can do a 25 fly at all, you are a stronger swimmer than 99% of people your age. Doing it in 20 seconds puts you in the 99%+ category!

USMS doesn't keep stats for 25 fly (even though it is occasionally offered at USMS meets), but they do for the 50 fly. Last season, 56 men in the 60-64 age group recorded a 50 yard fly time under 30 seconds. 195 recorded a 50 fly time in under 40 seconds. So, if you could hold your pace for a 50, you'd be in the top 200 in the country in your age group. That wouldn't be too shabby for somebody that took a 40 year hiatus!

After focusing on freestyle for my first year of my comeback, I've added butterfly to my repertoire this season. I'll be swimming the 50 fly at the Illinois Masters State Meet next weekend. I got a lot out of this podcast: (starting at episode 6).

Dropped a second/25 off my pace in the last 6 weeks by following their guidance, particularly with regards to getting the head back down early in the stroke after breathing, minimizing the porpoising (i.e. keeping flat), and keeping the hand entry slightly wider than shoulder width.

Last edited by gary p : 04-09-2016 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 06-20-2016
Suddethb Suddethb is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 94

I checked the Senior Olympics national website for their "minimum performance standards" for butterfly. To qualify to compete, in 60-64 the qualifying time is :33.70. My own 50 yard practice laps run about 52, but I practice more relaxed strokes for distance, not for sprints. When I sprint I can get down to 36 (including turn). I'm 55, and started learning at 46.
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